We’ve always been told by our teachers and professors that plagiarism is bad, and if you are caught plagiarising your academic life is basically over! Dramatic, I know, but that’s how it felt to college-era me, as I tried my very hardest to refrain from making any sort of plagiarism, and checking and re-checking in case I missed something.
So, if we were always taught copying something is bad, illegal, and just wrong, it boggles the mind to think that so many major creators do it. Especially if the things they’ve “taken inspiration” from something else will be displayed to thousands, if not millions, of viewers around the world.
Even though you can never prove something is outright plagiarism, there are often so many similarities they are hard to ignore. Scroll down to see some of the biggest movies or fictional characters who have been accused of being rip-offs.
1. Simba from ‘The Lion King’ from Kimba from ‘Kimba the White Lion’
Starting from the main characters’ names, there are several similarities between the two movies. Lion King follows Simba’s life, who’s the heir to the throne, after his father is killed and he has to defeat his evil uncle to get his rightful place as the king of the jungle. Similarly, the ’60s movie Kimba, the White Lion also follows a lion cub, whose father dies and he has to learn to become the king of the jungle.
Disney has denied the fact that aby inspiration was taken from Kimba, the White Lion, though it was revealed that some of the animators were aware of the movie. Speaking to HuffPost, animator Tom Sito said: “One of the animators found a manga comic book of Kimba’s with a setup that kind of looked like Pride Rock, and I remember he was like showing it to us, and I was like, ‘Wow, that is really close to ours, yeah. But I think it was never more than an amusing coincidence.”
2. ‘The Incredibles’ from ‘The Fantastic Four’
These two superhero movies also share a lot of similarities: Mr. Incredible is strong and big like The Thing from Fantastic Four, then Elastigirl from The Incredibles can stretch her limbs just like Mister Fantastic from Fantastic Four, and both Violet (The Incredibles) and the Invisible Woman (Fantastic Four) can turn invisible.
Honest Trailer even called The Incredibles “the best Fantastic Four movie ever made” in one of their videos.
3. Patrick from ‘The Mentalist’ from Shawn from ‘Psych’
Both shows feature a man who is pretending to be a psychic as he helps detectives solve crimes. Psych premiered two years before The Mentalist did so a lot of fans began saying the latter was a rip-off.
But one theory for the similarities is that they are both inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
4. Woody from ‘Toy Story’ from Rugby from ‘A Christmas Toy’
Not many people know the movie The Christmas Toy, which follows the character of Rugby the Tiger after he is in danger of losing his position of the favorite toy after the arrival of a new one. Yes, very similar to Toy Story and Woody. What’s more, there’s a character in The Christmas Toy named Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids, which largely resembles Buzz Lightyear. Meteora also doesn’t understand she is a toy and believes the other toys are aliens.
5. ‘Monsters, Inc.’ from ‘Little Monsters’
In Monsters Inc. there are monsters who live in a world which connects to children’s’ beds, while in the 1989 live-action film, Little Monsters, a boy finds there are monsters under his bed, and again, they can connect to other children’s beds.
Very similar, right?
6. ‘The Flintstones’ from ‘The Honeymooners’
The Flintstones was one of the most obvious rip-offs out of all the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, who have been frequently accused of plagiarism. All of the main characters in The Flintstones were eerily similar to the characters shown in the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners.
Apparently, one of the creators of the Honeymooners was told he could easily sue The Flinstones if he wished, admitted Henry Corden, the voice of Fred Flintstone, but he was also told, ‘Do you want to be known as the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air? The guy who took away a show so many kids love, and so many parents love, too?’
What do you think? Had you noticed these similarities before, or are you just finding out now? Do you think there’s any merit to the accusations they were copied or were they just a coincidence? Let us know in the comments.